Re: My view of AI.

From: Brent Allsop (
Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 14:50:13 MDT

"John Clark" <> responded:

> If you haven't already seen the movie you might not want to read the
> following.

        This continues to be true.

> There are times when death is preferable to life, like an eternal
> life full of misery and ugliness and pain, the very definition of
> David's life in the movie. If that's what you mean by "deathist"
> then I'm a deathist and proud of it.

        Yes, this is what I mean. Isn't this always the reason people
give for wanting to die? I think there is room to hope that something
better than this is possible. Giving up, thinking there can't be
anything better, and dieing is certainly, to me anyway, not a good
thing. But telling other people they can't do this or think this way
is much worse. Everyone must chose for themselves and be respected
for such.

> I don't know what you're talking about.

        Of course, my opinions of how the future of consciousness will
unfold is still very much in the minority view. So this is only a
problem I, personally, have with the movie (and much of the talk on
this list like this and almost everywhere else about the future of
consciousness for that matter.)

> The movie asks for no more than what every other movie has asked
> since the invention of photography, that you form an opinion of the
> inner subjective state of a screen character by observing the way
> the character behaves. Come to think of it, that's exactly what we
> do with real characters not just movie characters.

        This is precisely the problem I am talking about. Just
because we have never been able to do anything more than this in the
past in no way proves we will never be able to do something
drastically different in the future. As long as our subjective
knowledge is trapped within our skulls in such a hard wired and fixed
way, as long as we can't eff the ineffable..., this will continue to
be a problem. But once we discover what conscious awareness is really
made of and where it is located, once we reverse engineer it.... we
will develop the ability to eff the ineffable, redesign our conscious
representations so it becomes more intuitive, make it possible for our
subjective worlds to grow, expand, and escape the walls that are our
skull, to merge and share conscious experience... Once we can do all
this, the world will be drastically different and nothing like it was
before this, or in movies like this. And just one small part of those
drastic differences will be that we will no longer be left with only:
"form an opinion of the inner subjective state of a screen character
by observing the way the character behaves."

> > Why would an android have to go to talk to "Dr. Know" like he did?
> > Surely he would be able to, if he didn't already have it - purchase
> > and install a direct interface into the world of all internet
> > knowledge

> Unfair! If you know how to depict that on screen in a visually
> interesting manner then you're in the wrong line of work, you should
> be making movies.

        Ahhh! Good point! And this probably goes for everything I am
saying. They even had difficulties portraying the fact that the final
scene of David in his old house was a virtually real house, not an
actual physical reconstruction. I'm sure even with this many people
missed this point. But thank goodness they at least tried with this
with some amount of success for those that really understand what
virtual reality is.

        But when it comes to effing, expanding our subjective worlds
of conscious awareness, merging and sharing subjective worlds....
there is no way (that I know of) to portray anything like this in
film. In fact, it's damn near impossible to communicate anything like
this to others at all, even with months and months of argumentative
philosophical discussions and a strong desire by others to try to
understand it. By definition, one cannot YET eff the ineffable. We
just do not YET have the conscious machinery required to intuitively
and consciously know things like our conscious knowledge is not
reality itself, but only our knowledge of reality. And without even
this how can we hope to describe what it might be like to share this
subjective awareness with others. But with a little practice, desire,
and work, even with our still limited minds, it is possible to realize
much of this - even if only cognitively and non intuitively. And
everything about consciousness makes so much more sense once one has
achieved this - at least it seems this way to me - since this theory
is after all only accepted by a very small minority.

        OK, so maybe it was a better movie than my initial
Nawww, I think I'd rather be dead than to have to watch that
depressing movie (or hold that view of life) for an eternity! ;)

                Brent Allsop

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:39:41 MDT